Originally Posted by DaveC
Suprizes me when you have problems. You work on your bike almost all the time, I don't think there's a better maintained bike on this forum. Of course it has to be. You use it for general transportation, something most don't.
Is it overly complex or is it a case of the bike finding the weak link and breaking it?
The setup is fairly simple. If I could run a #40 chain or better with an internal hub, it'd be more dependable. Dead-on chain alignment, no derailleur, no cassettes, no chain jumping. My next project will have a NuVinci hub, so that might work better. If not, I'll try a Sturmey-Archer hub.
Also, I think I need to doublecheck alignments on both engine and bicycle chains. That might be the cause of most of my chain problems.
The absolute weak link is the light-duty 8-speed bicycle chain. With daily use, it takes the abuse for several months, then breaks. That's what I'm presuming. Thank goodness the Tanaka engine is dependable. The engine's last issue was my fault. I richened the oil ratio, because I simply couldn't take the chance of burning the piston. The fuel/oil ratio raised 2 days ago, when I pumped in 2 quarts mixed @ 100:1 to the remaining quart @ 50:1. Engine is spitting a little oil, but should be fine on the next fillup.
The AVID 203mm brakes are great. The Big Apple tires work well, once I lowered the gearing to compensate for 27" height. No probs with engine or fuel system. The gearbox circlip wears out every 6 months, but that's a 40-cent fix. Gas mileage is excellent @ 125mpg. Power is awesome. Low, midrange and top end is great, as is hillclimbing. Noise is not an issue, even with an expansion pipe. The Diamondback Response bike handles very well.
I save about $5,000 yearly by running this bike. It replaces the "third car" between three drivers on busy schedules. It saves me untold stress by not having to deal with gridlocked traffic. I get free covered parking next to my co-workers, who pay $100-something monthly. If I drive to work, I get to circle the blocks, then park a quarter-mile away in the hot sun, w/bird doodoo on my car.
The shifter cable needs replacing, so I'll fix my bike tomorrow. No probs, becuz I need to work late. Instead of riding home after sunset, my wife and I can carpool for a couple weeks.
No matter how much it costs to fix my bike, car repairs would be 20 times as costly.
And I REALLY like fixing my bike and figuring out how to make it better.